Runflat CBR is the brainchild of Richard Lust, an engineer with almost 30 years’ experience designing ‘runflat’ technology, a safety feature used by governmental, police, VIP, military and security forces across the globe to allow vehicles to continue for a reasonable distance even if a tyre punctures and deflates.
Runflat technology is not new. It was first pioneered in the 1940s and now almost every governmental (home office), security or military vehicle worldwide employs a runflat system, even armoured limousines used by high profile individuals from President Obama to HRH Queen Elizabeth II.
However, the technology has barely advanced since its inception, despite its many limitations; for example, some systems require a specialist wheel to operate and, if more than one tyres is deflated, the vehicle will grind to a halt. The consensus across the industry has been that it is impossible to design a system which would work in the standard wheel and that to do so would not stack up financially.
Richard set out to prove the doubters wrong, renting space, since 2009, at the Advanced Manufacturing Park Technology Centre to research and develop the best runflat system in the world.
Working alongside other companies based at the AMP Technology Centre including skilled engineers at Performance Engineered Solutions; 3D printing innovators, Materialise, as well as the neighbouring Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Richard and his team have developed the world’s first runflat insert that combines a functioning tyre ‘bead lock’ system that can be fitted within an ordinary wheel and tyre. The revolutionary product allows the driver to maintain good drivability (steer, accelerate and brake efficiently) on not only one, but up to all four deflated tyres.
The RunFlat CBR (Combined Beadlock RunFlat) is also lighter, easier to fit and offers improved performance, and is no more expensive that the best performing runflat inserts currently on the market.
Richard commented: “This is disruptive technology and it will change the face of the runflat industry. For the first time, users will be able to fit the system into any normal wheel and tyre in around 10 minutes, and benefit from all-wheel-drivability as well as enhanced runflat distance performance.”
The company, which currently employs three staff, has recently expanded into 4,700 sq ft of workshop and office space at Building 3 at the AMP, and is currently undergoing a recruitment drive ahead of the mass-manufacture of the product from the end of 2016.
Adds Richard: “We unveiled our product for the first time at the DSEI (Defence Security and Equipment International) exhibition in London last September and we’ve since been inundated with enquiries from every international territory. We’re already working with some potential clients to test vehicles with the system at IDIADA in Spain, Europe’s biggest motor vehicle test track, and the feedback we’ve had has been fantastic.
“This corner of South Yorkshire is a melting pot for invention. I wouldn’t have been able to make the concept a reality without the talent and original approach of others based here at the Technology Centre and the wider Park. We have now patented our revolutionary technology and we are looking forward to sharing it with users across the globe.”
For more information on RunFlat Systems Ltd go to www.runflatcbr.com